Journalistic Issues

By Warner Todd Huston | September 4, 2008 | 6:12 AM EDT

The Associated Press takes the attacks against Sarah Palin to the next level by saying that in her released bio Palin's religion was "obscured." The AP is suggesting that Palin's ostensibly secret religion is really Pentecostalism which, they note, is a sect that is "derided by outsiders and Bible-believers alike." So, the AP is saying here that the McCain campaign is trying to cover up Palin's past because they must somehow know that her real religion is a cult or some wacko, fringe sect.

Sarah Palin often identifies herself simply as Christian... Yet John McCain's running mate has deep roots in Pentecostalism, a spirit-filled Christian tradition that is one of the fastest growing in the world. It's often derided by outsiders and Bible-believers alike.

But for all of the AP's grave warnings about what it obviously considers wacky Pentecostalism, Palin and her hard working, middle class family have for the last 6 years belonged to the Wasilla Bible Church which is not a Pentecostal Church but describes itself as an independent evangelical church. So, even if she were raised in the Pentecostal Church -- and even if we were to be alarmed at this -- she left it behind 6 years ago. So, where is the "obscuring," where is the secretive past?

By Warner Todd Huston | September 4, 2008 | 3:16 AM EDT

For a Thursday funny, the grown-ups at CNN must have been napping when they allowed a half informed intern to type up their screen graphic on Wednesday. As the CNN "Sky View" camera roamed the audience during the Republican Convention the screen graphic helpfully informed the viewer that McCain "Officially wins Democratic Nomination."

Psst, CNN. It's McCain wins the Republican nomination. Just tryin' to help ya out, there.

By Warner Todd Huston | September 3, 2008 | 8:49 PM EDT

It always comes down to this one, doesn't it? Leftists and fringe politicos calling Republicans "Nazis." Well, the "N" word was once again unleashed against John McCain's Republican Convention on September 2 during CNN's Larry King Live show. Actor D.L. Hughley and Independent former Governor of Minnesota Jesse Ventura both went for that shopworn epithet as King discussed the Convention.

Along with Hughley and Ventura, King had on former Clinton Press Secretary Dee Dee Myers who claimed that Republicans were saying with their convention theme that “only Republicans put their country first” ridiculously saying that Independents shouldn't vote for the GOP because they are insulted so much. "I don't understand why any independent or Democrat would consider voting for the McCain/Palin ticket," Myers partisanly intoned, "after being called all night that only Republicans put their country first."

By Jacob S. Lybbert | September 3, 2008 | 5:20 PM EDT

As Fox News prepares to interview Barack Obama tomorrow night, during prime time, TV journalist Michael Wolff details a meeting between Barack Obama, Fox News president Roger Ailes, and News Corporation president Rupert Murdoch in which the Fox execs promised to lay off the Democratic presidential candidate.

According to Wolff's telling, this was more than a mere tete-à-tete, this was a full-on diplomatic meeting (initiated at Murdoch's request), conducted only after preparation and with preconditions from the Obama campaign.

The apparent purpose? To smooth things over in the event that Obama defeats John McCain:

By Warner Todd Huston | September 3, 2008 | 3:02 AM EDT

John McCain's campaign spokesman is reporting that the media has deluged the campaign with demands that it provide DNA samples to "prove" that baby Trig is the true offspring of vice presidential candidate Governor Sarah Palin. Imagine the effrontery of this demand? Imagine the ignorance and outrageousness of this attack that Governor Palin is receiving at the hands of the Old Media? Worse, realize that this storm has been raised by gutter websites like DailyKos and the DemocraticUnderground! The media is not only indulging in the lowest of attacks they are allowing the most extreme, unhinged of the far left to dictate the direction of their coverage. The Old Media are worse than dancing puppets for the hatemongers on the left.

The Washington Post's Howard Kurtz reported that McCain campaign manager Steve Schmidt is being buried under an avalanche of these unseemly demands for Palin's DNA by the media establishment.

By Warner Todd Huston | September 2, 2008 | 10:29 AM EDT

For those who say that the Maverick can't learn a new lesson, Bloomberg has a story that proves John McCain has at least learned this lesson; the media is not his friend. Pronouncing that McCain's "longtime love affair" between himself and the media is "on the rocks," Bloomberg reports on how McCain has been distancing himself from the media of late. Naturally, Bloomberg takes a few shots along the way, too.

It seems that, instead of placing the blame on the media where it belongs for its mistreatment of McCain and its sycophancy for Obama, Bloomberg seems to suggest that it is the fault of McCain's new campaign manager who, Bloomberg gravely tells us, was "close to Karl Rove."

By Warner Todd Huston | September 2, 2008 | 3:17 AM EDT

There is an ethics squabble going on in Montana perpetrated by the senior counsel to the Democrat Governor of Montana, Brian Schweitzer. It has been revealed that the Governor's "senior counsel," a man named Eric Stern, has been caught trying to "back-door" the judge in a case in which he is involved on behalf of Governor Schweitzer. The ethics violation is bad enough, but it has also been discovered that, even though he is claimed to be an attorney and the Governor's senior counsel, Eric Stern, is not licensed to practice law in the state of Montana. This seems to say that Eric Stern is practicing law without a license, doesn’t it? Strangely, the media have not bothered to report this most important fact.

According to reports, Eric Stern "a senior official in the governor's administration" improperly contacted the commissioner of political practices "outside of official proceedings in an ongoing ethics case." In effect, Stern is accused of trying to "back-door" the judge by discussing the case outside of official proceedings, an extremely blatant ethics violation.

By Jacob S. Lybbert | September 1, 2008 | 2:25 PM EDT

I think I've got it now. These are the MSM rules when dealing with the personal lives of national candidates and/or members of their family:

Given the chance to publicly embarrass and humiliate a Republican candidate's 17 year old daughter, do it.

If it's a moralizing former Democratic candidate for president, well, leave that to the National Enquirer.

Today, to head off the many tawdry rumors being passed back and forth between the Daily Kos diarists and their MSM fellow travelers, the McCain camp announced that Governor Sarah Palin's 17 year old daughter, Bristol, is pregnant.

By Warner Todd Huston | September 1, 2008 | 8:40 AM EDT

Many Americans have a negative image of journalists and it is one that is growing in believability and acceptance every day, especially as the New Media begins to attract more and more attention from the American people. This image of the aloof, even anti-American, journalist is becoming rote with more people all the time. Sadly, the journalists themselves seem to be uninterested in countering this appalling public image, imagining themselves above being considered mere Americans. On this subject, a recent op ed by Mark Fitzgerald of Editor & Publisher warns journalists that perception is often truth and that the penchant that journalists have for not standing proudly and patriotically during the National Anthem does not help their image any -- good advice that will be roundly ignored by journalists the country over.

Fitzgerald starts off with a bit of an untruth of his own, though I am not accusing him of knowingly perpetrating a falsehood. Saying that "There's no cheering in the press box," Fitzgerald goes on to describe journalists are perennially uninvolved and aloof from the subject of which they report. At some level this may be correct. Certainly when journalists, notoriously left-wing, cover conservatives and Republicans there is no cheering. But, as the recent example during the 2008 National Democratic Convention shows, when it is left-wing, journalists have no problem at all cheering. One need not forget the fawning the media lovingly handed to Bill Clinton to prove the cheerleading they are apt to, either.

Still, that quibble aside, Fitzgerald has a great point about how the unpatriotic attitude of journalists damages their profile. Worse, it makes people doubt journalist's work simply because their word isn't trusted not to be coming from an anti-American perspective.

By Warner Todd Huston | September 1, 2008 | 1:48 AM EDT

Milwaukee has discovered some more voter fraud with 10 more voter registration workers are being investigated by Wisconsin authorities. Fittingly, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel covered the story in its paper on August 29. Unfittingly, the Journal Sentinel forgot one, tiny aspect of the story... that the voter fraud was perpetrated by Democrats. In fact, one of the organizations, ACORN, is intimately linked with Barack Obama.

Milwaukee’s top election official said Thursday she plans to seek criminal investigations of 10 more voter registration workers, including two accused of offering gifts to sign up voters.

So, what we have here is an Old Media story about voter fraud where the salient fact that the fraud is being committed by Democrats and Democrat organizations is somehow absent from the story. What a surprise, eh?

By Warner Todd Huston | September 1, 2008 | 1:40 AM EDT

Reuters gets the award for the most misleading headline of the day with its Aug 28 story making it seem as if unemployment has wildly increased in New York State -- even calling it a "crisis" -- when there was really only a small increase. The headline would cause the casual reader to assume that the world is falling apart concerning employment rates and on top of that the badly worded headline also feeds into the Bush-ruined-the-economy meme. And we know how Reuters is always looking to smear President Bush whenever it can. Further, Reuters cites the work of the Fiscal Policy Institute without identifying it as a left leaning think tank.

Reuters headlines its New York employment piece Unemployment leaps over 20 percent in 25 New York counties. It is a shocking headline, to be sure, screaming that unemployment "leaps 20 percent." Such a wild headline would certainly cause a casual reader to assume that overall unemployment has risen by 20 to 25 percent. Contrary to the scaremongering of the headline, New York's unemployment did not "leap 20 percent" in over all numbers at all. In fact, the over all unemployment of the state has only gone up by .2 percent, from 5.2 in June to 5.4 in July. That is hardly a number to spark a "Crisis."

By Warner Todd Huston | August 31, 2008 | 11:19 PM EDT

<p><b>**Video Below the Fold**</b></p>

<p><img height="143" hspace="0" src="http://wonkette.com/assets/resources/2008/01/andrea%20mitchell.jpg" width="125" align="right" border="0" />Tom Brokaw's Meet the Press this week was as prosaic as ever, but for one little line uttered by the increasingly partisan Andrea Mitchell. In a discussion about the McCain VP pick of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, guest Doris Kerns Goodwin, plagiarist/historian, said that the choice of Palin is a "very strange choice," showing how little she bothered to even think about the facts. But the most outrageous analysis came from Mitchell who said that only uneducated, female voters will be drawn to Sarah Palin, not those smart, college educated ones. </p>

<p>At about 5:57 into this clip Andrea Mitchell was brought onto Meet the Press with Goodwin, David Gregory and host Tom Brokaw to tell us all that Sarah Palin will only appeal to uneducated women, not educated ones. </p>